At least three people have been killed after two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in front of a church in the Ugandan capital of Kampala.
Kampala police spokesman Frank Mwesigwa said the two had passed through screening at the entrance to the church, but there was apparently an administrative error and they were told to go through a different gate.
The blast occurred in front of the church when Sunday school was starting and there were many children present.
The police spokesman says it’s possible the two women were sent on suicide missions by people from the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that has waged a 27-year guerrilla war against the Ugandan government.
Ugandan Interior Minister Gen. Henry Tumukunde says four people have been arrested. They have been identified as a Uganda army captain, a British woman and an American.
The attack was condemned by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called for the “dismantling of the LRA, restoring peace and security, and promoting gender equality.”
A statement from the UN chief said the attack “shows once again the need for a holistic approach to the issue of terrorism.”
The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for a failed bombing last December in Kampala.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said at the time that the bombing was “a calculated attempt at undermining our harmonious relationship and the government.”
In recent years the Ugandan military has waged an offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army rebels, and has reported more than 1,000 recent dead.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for this weekend’s attack.
Police say two suicide bombers blew themselves up after passing through a security check point and being told to go to a different gate where the children were.
Gen. Mwesigwa says the women are suspected to be part of a terrorist cell inside the military.
He says that “the whole process might have gone amiss and these women were given the wrong permit.”
He says the attackers likely did not receive formal training for their mission from the terrorist group.
Kampala and its surrounding areas have experienced a spate of recent suicide bombings and assassinations that have killed hundreds.
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